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Northwest Territories Close Their Borders To Keep Their COVID-19 Cases At Zero

Travel restrictions have become the new normal. In addition to Canada's international borders closing, the Northwest Territories has also officially closed itself off. Even other Canadian citizens will not be allowed to enter.

In a March 20 news release, it was announced that the territory's Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Kami Kandola, would make an order to prohibit all non-essential travel by land, sea, or air into the Northwest Territories.

Limited exceptions will be made for some groups, including territorial residents who are returning home, supply chain workers, healthcare and law enforcement professionals, and flight crews.

Any residents returning to the territory from elsewhere will also be required to self-isolate for 14 days in Yellowknife, Fort Smith, Hay River, or Inuvik.

The news release states that there could be legal punishments for anyone defying these orders. These include a fine of up to $10,000 and six months in prison.

As of 9:00 a.m. ET on March 21, there are still no cases of COVID-19 in any of Canda's three territories.

"We have been worried with all the travel and return of our spring break families and teachers this weekend that it could put our small communities at risk," Lesa Semmler, MLA for Inuvik Twin Lakes told CBC News.

Canada has instituted its own strict border restrictions already. The country is no longer allowing the entry of anyone who is not a citizen or permanent resident.

In addition, airlines are being ordered not to allow anyone exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19 onto their flights.

Individual provinces have also taken their own measures, including banning gatherings of 50 or more people, and ordering non-essential businesses to close.

Canada has officially surpassed 1,000 confirmed cases of the virus as of 9:00 a.m. on March 21. In addition, over 76,000 people have now been tested.

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